30 Mar 2012

Apartments blamed for fall in building consents

1:43 pm on 30 March 2012

Housing consents have dropped for the first time in three months but the decrease is largely due to a fall in volatile apartment numbers.

Official figures show housing consents fell by a seasonally adjusted 6.7% to 1230 in February.

That's the largest drop since September last year.

However, excluding apartments, the number increased by 1.2%.

Goldman Sachs economist Philip Borkin says while that may be a slight increase, the underlying trend is positive.

Mr Borkin says even outside of the boost that will come from reconstruction in Canterbury, the sector is moving in the right direction.

Compared to February last year, the seasonally adjusted number of housing consents, minus apartments, has jumped from 932 to 1147.